Current Lab Members

 Brunet Lab. (2017-2018) (minus Matt Hetherington)

from left to right: Fabiana Fragoso, Greg Gelembiuk, Danny Minahan,  Austin Staudinger, Johanne Brunet, Zach Diamond, Luisangely Soto-Torres, Emmanuel Santa-Martinez, Talaidh Isaacs

Current Graduate Students

Danny Minahan

PhD Candidate in Zoology
Fall 2013 – present

Danny’s Personal Website

  • B. A. (Magna cum Laude) University of Colorado at Boulder – Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Danny Lab Picture_opt

My research interests are focused on the foraging behavior of bees, and how this relates to the identity and quality of collected resources. I use a variety of approaches to address these questions including radio frequency identification (RFID) to monitor bee movement to and from the hive, and collecting resources directly from returning foragers.

Aside from academia I also enjoy skiing, rock climbing, paddling, natural history strolls, guitar, and pleasure reading (generally non-fiction; history, current events, and philosophy).


The Garden Club of America Centennial Pollinator Fellowship. March 2016.

University of Wisconsin – John Jefferson Davis Travel Award. December 2015

University of Wisconsin – Department of Zoology Graduate Research Grant. May 2014


Minahan D. and J. Brunet 2017. Comparing the foraging effort of bumble bees and honeybees through time and among sites in a shared landscape. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting. Nov. 2017. Denver, CO.

Minahan D. and J. Brunet. 2017. Pollen Collection and Foraging Effort of Honey bees and Bumble bees in a Shared Landscape. Ecology Symposium, Madison, Wisconsin.

Minahan, D and J. Brunet. 2016. Pollen diversity and foraging effort of the common eastern bumble bee and the honey bee: Changes through time in a common landscape. ICE, Orlando, FL, Sept. 

Minahan, D and J. Brunet. 2016. Examination of the foraging effort and pollen collection patterns of honey bees and bumble bees. International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy. State College, PA, July.

Minahan, D., and J. Brunet 2015. Comparing the Temporal Foraging Patterns of the European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) and Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens). Poster presentation. Entomological Society of America meeting, Minneapolis, MN. November.


Entomological Society of America

Ecological Society of America

Society for the Study of Evolution

Matt Hetherington

PhD Candidate in Entomology
Fall 2017 – present

  • B.S. University of Memphis – Biology
  • M.S. University of Arkansas Little Rock – General Biology

I was born and raised in Memphis, TN where I earned a B.S. in Biology from the University of Memphis.  As an undergraduate, I was fortunate to work in Dr. Michael Ferkin’s lab studying aspects of meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) behavioral and chemical ecology.  Subsequently I earned my M.S. in general biology from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where my thesis examined how the peachtree borer (Synanthedon exitiosa) and lesser peachtree borer (Synanthedon pictipes) utilize plant volatiles to orient on optimal hosts. Now, I am turning my attention to the western tarnished plant bug (Lygus hesperus), which is a generalist pest that causes significant damage to alfalfa seed production.  I plan to identify patterns in the volatile emissions of a diverse subset of suitable hosts and correlate metabolomic analyses with behavioral assays in the laboratory and the field.  Hopefully understanding the cues that mediate lygus movement will facilitate the development of more sustainable control strategies. 

PostDoctoral Associate

Fabiana Fragoso

July 2017 – present

  • B.S. University of Sao Paulo – Biological Sciences
  • M.S. University of Sao Paulo – Entomology
  • PhD University of Sao Paulo – Entomology

I have a B.S. degree and a Teaching degree in Biological Sciences from University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. As an undergraduate student, I investigated the reinstatement of litter decomposition in areas of Atlantic Forest undergoing restoration. Subsequently, I earned both a M.S and a PhD in Entomology at University of Sao Paulo, where I researched how pollinator communities, mainly bees, responded to forest restoration. 

Currently, I am trying to assess how pollinator behavior affects gene flow on genetically engineered crops at a landscape level.  Using alfalfa and bumblebees as the study system, we are analyzing the bumblebee decision making process to move between patches in different landscapes and also obtaining empirical evidence of gene flow from genetically engineered to conventional patches of alfalfa. Hopefully, the results of this study will contribute to better management strategies and enhanced coexistence between different markets.

Research Technician

Zach Diamond

August 2017 – present

  • B.S. College of Charleston – Biological Sciences

As an undergraduate at the College of Charleston, I developed my passion for ecological systems and mutualistic interactions. I am currently assisting with research analyzing how pollinator behavior affects gene flow in alfalfa populations. In my free time, I love to cook and play folk music. Check out my website here!

Undergraduate REU program summer 2017



LuisAngely Soto from the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras campus was part of the NSF REU SIGNALS program at the University of Wisconsin Madison during summer 2017. She participated in our summer research in the field examining foraging behavior of bumble bees in an agricultural landscape.


Johanne and LuisAngely




USDA-ARS and Department of Entomology, University of Wisconsin-Madison